Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

The Military Mental Model of Mormonism

August 31st, 2015 by MC

While once trying to explain to a non-Mormon friend why missionaries had such a strict dress code, I talked about showing respect for others, about norms of economic equality between rich and poor missionaries, but none of it seemed to register. Finally I said, “Look, becoming a missionary is like joining the Army. They have a collective goal, and everything is focused on that goal, to the point where things that you might otherwise find bothersome really don’t matter. If you are so concerned about individuality that you resent having to wear a uniform, then you are probably out of place there.” That made sense to him.

That sparked a years-long reflection on my part about how many aspects of Christianity in general, and Mormonism in particular, make more sense if you remember the words of the hymn, “We are all enlisted ’til the conflict is o’er.” As I’ll explain in more detail below, points of doctrine or Church history that might be troubling and confusing become less so when one realizes that we are in a spiritual war.

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August 31st, 2015 06:15:41

Why does the Mormon church insist on good behaviour from all members?

August 14th, 2015 by Bruce Charlton

The average of behaviour is higher among Mormons than among the large Christian denominations. I wonder whether this may be related to the fact that nearly all Mormon men are Priests? (more…)

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August 14th, 2015 06:45:20

Too Proud to Play

August 12th, 2015 by G.

Elders’ Quorum this Sunday was Ezra Taft Benson on pride. He didn’t offer just one definition of pride. He offered several. Too big of a sin for soundbites. (more…)

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August 12th, 2015 09:30:19

A Date with An Ironing Board

July 27th, 2015 by G.

Ironing Boards

On the sweetness of Mormon life.

It’s Saturday evening, and you need to do some ironing for Sunday and the week. Your wife, your lovely one, says, “do you remember when you ironed on one of our dates?” You don’t. She tells you. (more…)

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July 27th, 2015 08:00:04

Naea Bennet, Sabbath Hero

July 26th, 2015 by G.

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July 26th, 2015 05:04:01

Too Much Holiness

July 24th, 2015 by G.

 

It’s hard to know when to stop being holy. Some things we are supposed to be doing, there are no natural stopping points. Can you ever do enough missionary work, when more people are born every minute then you can talk to in 60 seconds? Can you ever baptize the dead enough, when they die faster than you can baptize? Don’t run faster than you have strength, the scripture says. But conscience always whispers that maybe we have just a little bit more strength than we will let ourselves know. (more…)

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July 24th, 2015 10:20:43

Good Questions from an Investigator

July 20th, 2015 by G.

The following are lightly edited transcripts of a conversation I am having with an honest inquirer, who is also a friend of the JG.  He can out himself in the comments if he wishes.  Comments are welcome.  If you would like to have a private conversation with him, say so in the comments and the Club Committee will try to oblige, subject to the consent of the inquiring gentleman. (more…)

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July 20th, 2015 11:52:56

The problem of Mormonism (for mainstream Christians)

July 16th, 2015 by Bruce Charlton

Musing on a recent posting and comments at The Orthosphere

The Theological Foundations of the Mormon Religion

The problem of Mormonism for mainstream Christians could be analysed as follows:

If we distinguish Mormon Fruits from Beliefs – with Fruits being the behaviour of Mormons, and Beliefs being the doctrines, theology and scriptures – then:

 

The basic observation is that

1. Mormon Fruits are very similar-to mainstream Christian ideals

But

2. Mormon Beliefs are very different-from mainstream Christianity.

So, to mainstream Christians there seems to be a large mismatch between Mormon Fruits and Beliefs.

How to explain this?

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July 16th, 2015 05:23:58

The Founder’s Cult

July 15th, 2015 by G.

Peter Thiel says that successful new companies tend to turn into founder’s cults. It’s only natural. Building things is hard. Building institutions that build things is harder. You look around and see this successful thing, in a world of friction and entropy, and your heart is filled with respect. Respect is a form of love. It is akin to worship. (more…)

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July 15th, 2015 08:45:26

Pascal’s Wager

July 14th, 2015 by Vader

Is no longer an option.  (more…)

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July 14th, 2015 13:59:57

Why does the Book of Mormon (apparently) work better than The Bible as an instrument of conversion in the modern West?

July 14th, 2015 by Bruce Charlton

Why does the Book of Mormon (apparently) work better than The Bible as an instrument of conversion in the modern West? (more…)

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July 14th, 2015 06:10:00

Bright Minds and Bright Paint

July 13th, 2015 by G.

On the sweetness of Mormon life.

The “youth” speaker is a little blonde girl who grew up in the better kind of trailer home in a family compound. She turned out to be brain. A couple of years ago, you recall, she won the state science fair or something like that with lasers or transistors or something like that. She went to BYU, got married, and is home for the summer and also very pregnant. Her husband is a Basque-Indio hipster hardcore social conservative. Her topic is service. She takes Paul’s little sermon that begins “Charity never faileth” and replaces charity with service. It is illuminating. (more…)

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July 13th, 2015 11:16:50

The Wars of the Gods

July 09th, 2015 by G.

In normative versions of the creation story, Adam and Eve at first don’t recognize Satan when they meet him in the Garden. Later, as a consequence of his actions, he is exposed.   But then, curiously, when expelled from the Garden, they again don’t recognize him.

I think that is a signal that we are supposed to consider Adam and Eve’s after-garden experience as part of a pattern that repeats itself, the pattern that first took place in the Garden. (more…)

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July 09th, 2015 08:30:16

Another virtue, and its corresponding vice

July 06th, 2015 by Vader

Lightheartedness: The attitude of not taking the things of this world too seriously.

Lightmindedness: The attitude of not taking the things of God too seriously.

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July 06th, 2015 08:13:25

Implications of our Mother in Heaven

July 04th, 2015 by Bruce Charlton

Feeling the implications of having a Mother in Heaven is a thing the pace of which I have not forced; but which has gradually crept up on me in the time since – not much more than a year ago – I became sure of her reality.

As would probably be expected from an understanding of the complementarity of the sexes – there are situations when thoughts of Mother in Heaven hardly arise – and one of these is theology. It seems natural, and almost necessary, to focus exclusively on Heavenly Father (and Jesus Christ) when discussing theological matters.

So far, her reality is most vivid in meditation – as contrasted with prayer. When I consider Heaven, and when I get a glimmering of a vision of this state, it makes a great difference that the divine family is headed by a Father and Mother – rather than a Father alone.

And Mother in Heaven works against losing myself in abstraction, and makes ‘God’ into actually real persons; makes ‘God’ a complex and differentiated entity – not anything like a simple force.

Mother in Heaven makes my feeling of the love of God something individual and specific and concrete – a very here and now and palpable kind of love.

And when I think of the monarchy of Heaven, I now think in terms of an ideal version of the many models of rulership between Man and Woman that are depicted in Tolkien’s Legendarium: Beren and Luthien, Earendil and Elwing, Celeborn and Galadriel, Aragorn and Arwen, Tom Bombadil and Goldberry.

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July 04th, 2015 12:01:49